Monday, 7 January 2013

GERMÁN PASCUAL - A New Beginning (CD)

Germán started his career fronting progressive metal band Afterglow, which later became Mind’s Eye. I remember praising his vocals on the band’s first MCD. However, as fate had it, Germán’s career took another turn and he disappeared from the scene for many years. He then returned and became the front man of neol-classic metal band Narnia, when Christian Liljegren decided to take a time out. After one, really good I must say, album entitled Curse Of A Nation, the story ended and the band was put to rest. Germán now joined the man he replaced, Christian Liljegren, in the bands DivineFire and Golden Resurrection. Now, finally, he has released his first solo album. This is a bit like Germán picking the best pieces from his former bands, the melodic yet heavy side of Narnia adding a bit of proggy quirkiness from Afterglow, all of it topped with his class A vocals! A New Beginning is a great piece of semi-proggy melodic metal, quite close in style to Swedish colleagues Cloudscape, but still with its own sound and touch. However, fans of the aforementioned should definitely check this out! Besides Germán’s excellent vocals, the guitars are handles by the swift handed Martin Hall, the bass by Raphael Dafras and the keyboards are handled by Guilherme Oliviera. Unfortunately the drums are programmed, which gives it a generic sound and stiffness I don’t really like. My only complaint I should add. There are some guests that should be noted, such as CJ Grimmark’s excellent solo on Face Of The Blind, which Thomas Plec Johansson handles the guitars and great soloing on two tracks, where his neo-classsical sounding lead on Open Your Eyes is a killer. Call For The One has a different, quite energetic touch in the verse, while the bridge and chorus takes it to a heavy edge. Nice blend, indeed. The song material is really solid and consistent and the album is a safe buy for fans of bands like Cloudscape, FullForce or classic Symphony X for that matter. The album, like Narnia, Golden Resurrection and DivineFire carries a pretty devout Christian message. The overall album, minus the very different operatic Canción Con Todos, is maybe a lacking a bit of variation, but it’s still a good affair. The programmed drums can be a bit annoying (to a seventies fan like myself), but aside of this – great work!
Janne Stark
Year: 2012
Country: Sweden
Label: Nightmare Records 

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